A March accident that started with a police chase claimed the life of a 15-year-old Connecticut teenager. Now an internal investigation is seeking to pinpoint the cause of the accident and determine if a police officer followed proper protocol when seeking to pull over a driver. The investigation is reviewing the policies and procedures of the police officer that pursued a vehicle before it crashed into a wall, injuring two passengers and killing the teenager in the back seat.
An initial investigation of the accident found that a Ford Mustang, driven by another teen, was avoiding apprehension when it struck a building. The reports alleged that the driver was at fault for attempting to avoid getting pulled over, increasing speed, and ignoring the police officer's attempt to stop him. The driver was arrested on September 11 and charged with reckless driving, engaging police in pursue, misconduct with a motor vehicle and two equipment violations.
According to law enforcement officials, similar internal investigations are routine in the event of catastrophic and fatal accidents that involve police officers. The investigative team is attempting to uncover the specific details of the accident and identify who was responsible. Evidence in this case could be relevant in a civil personal injury claim.
After an accident, it is important that an independent investigation is performed to preserve evidence on behalf of the victims and their families. In this case, criminal charges could be used as evidence of negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit should the family of the victim file claims against the driver, police officer or the police department.
Source: Connecticut Post, "Fatal Seymour crash under investigation," Anne M. Amato, Oct. 2, 2012